Advertisement

Flight Lieutenant Wesley Douglas Irwin

Advertisement

Flight Lieutenant Wesley Douglas Irwin

Birth
Perth County, Ontario, Canada
Death
22 Nov 1944 (aged 34)
Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Burial
Newham, London Borough of Newham, Greater London, England Add to Map
Plot
Square 117. Grave 112083.
Memorial ID
View Source
Wesley Douglas Irwin was a service casualty of WW2

Wesley was born in Perth County Ontario Canada, the son of William George and Ida Mary Irwin (nee Hamilton) . He was a brother to William Egbert (born 25th September 1892), Thomas Nelles (born 22nd December 1896), Margery Shearer, (born 29th September 1898), Christopher Lorell (born 30th January 1901) and Frederick McKee Irwin (born 20th April 1903)

He was educated at various institutions including Stratford Public school in Ontario, Stratford Collegiate, Moose Jaw Central Collegiate and the University of West Ontario. He enjoyed Rugby and Hockey and had studied Technical Mechanics and started his own business as a paint sprayer specialising in paint and lacquer techniques.

Wesley had applied in London early in 1940 to join the RAF although he had no flying or military experience. As he had been turned down, he re-applied in Canada on the 7th October 1940. During his training at the Air Observers school, Wesley was described as "good mannered, a likeable chap, will improve with experience and should make a good officer". He was also known as " a conscientious student and a sound thinker who weighs up his answers to every question"

In the summer of 1944, Wesley married Eliza Matilda Hazard, also known as Lylie and the couple had a son David. Lylie was born in Stepney London and after she became a widow she lived in Pitsea Essex.

He served his country in WW2 as Flight Lieutenant / Navigator J/16115 Royal Canadian Air Force 627 Pathfinder Sqdn. attached to the RAF.

Acting as Navigator, with pilot, Flight Lt. John Alexander Reid 48900 RAF, the crew flying in a Merlin Mosquito Mark IV DZ 642 from RAF Woodhall,were returning late at night in November 1944 from marking a target in Trondheim Norway. They were heading for Peterhead Scotland, low on fuel and in bad weather,when they had to divert to Sumburg aerodrome at the south end of the Shetland Islands. Doug and his pilot were killed when they crashed into Royl Field Hill, 12 miles north of the aerodrome. An investigation found that both of the crew had been wearing Mae West's and parachutes and there had been no fire either before or after the aircraft had crashed and that death was due to multiple injuries. It was also intimated at the inquiry that there may have been a pilot error involved in the accident although John Reid was an experienced pilot. The main question that arose was why there had been a lack of fuel when the aircraft had been refuelled to the pilot's satisfaction and there should have been more that enough for the journey both ways.

They are both commemorated by a bronze plaque attached to a stone pillar erected close to the crash site.

Wesley Douglas Irwin was buried at the CITY OF LONDON CEMETERY and is commemorated there with a Private Memorial (PM) War Grave

At the time of his passing Wesley was 34 years of age.


Wesley Douglas Irwin was a service casualty of WW2

Wesley was born in Perth County Ontario Canada, the son of William George and Ida Mary Irwin (nee Hamilton) . He was a brother to William Egbert (born 25th September 1892), Thomas Nelles (born 22nd December 1896), Margery Shearer, (born 29th September 1898), Christopher Lorell (born 30th January 1901) and Frederick McKee Irwin (born 20th April 1903)

He was educated at various institutions including Stratford Public school in Ontario, Stratford Collegiate, Moose Jaw Central Collegiate and the University of West Ontario. He enjoyed Rugby and Hockey and had studied Technical Mechanics and started his own business as a paint sprayer specialising in paint and lacquer techniques.

Wesley had applied in London early in 1940 to join the RAF although he had no flying or military experience. As he had been turned down, he re-applied in Canada on the 7th October 1940. During his training at the Air Observers school, Wesley was described as "good mannered, a likeable chap, will improve with experience and should make a good officer". He was also known as " a conscientious student and a sound thinker who weighs up his answers to every question"

In the summer of 1944, Wesley married Eliza Matilda Hazard, also known as Lylie and the couple had a son David. Lylie was born in Stepney London and after she became a widow she lived in Pitsea Essex.

He served his country in WW2 as Flight Lieutenant / Navigator J/16115 Royal Canadian Air Force 627 Pathfinder Sqdn. attached to the RAF.

Acting as Navigator, with pilot, Flight Lt. John Alexander Reid 48900 RAF, the crew flying in a Merlin Mosquito Mark IV DZ 642 from RAF Woodhall,were returning late at night in November 1944 from marking a target in Trondheim Norway. They were heading for Peterhead Scotland, low on fuel and in bad weather,when they had to divert to Sumburg aerodrome at the south end of the Shetland Islands. Doug and his pilot were killed when they crashed into Royl Field Hill, 12 miles north of the aerodrome. An investigation found that both of the crew had been wearing Mae West's and parachutes and there had been no fire either before or after the aircraft had crashed and that death was due to multiple injuries. It was also intimated at the inquiry that there may have been a pilot error involved in the accident although John Reid was an experienced pilot. The main question that arose was why there had been a lack of fuel when the aircraft had been refuelled to the pilot's satisfaction and there should have been more that enough for the journey both ways.

They are both commemorated by a bronze plaque attached to a stone pillar erected close to the crash site.

Wesley Douglas Irwin was buried at the CITY OF LONDON CEMETERY and is commemorated there with a Private Memorial (PM) War Grave

At the time of his passing Wesley was 34 years of age.




Sponsored by Ancestry

Advertisement